This week CollinsWoerman announced Sustainable Living Innovations (SLI), a new way to design and construct mid-rise buildings by using a pre-fabricated system. This component-based assembly approach is the only prefab system currently on the market that is scalable for mid-rise structures, and apparently works like Legos according to Geekwire (or an Erector set according to Fast Company).
Here’s a video of the assembly process:
This new method is advertised as a sustainable approach with a speedier to-market timeline than traditional construction that results in higher quality housing for lower overall cost. In a recent article, Collins told the Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC):
Developers can use it to construct concrete and steel structures up to eight stories for about the same cost as wood-frame structures, he said. It can be used for multifamily housing, hotels, resorts or student housing.
Also, according to the DJC, we may see SLI product in Seattle in the near future:
SLI has talked with developers of apartment and student housing projects in Seattle about using this technology, and is in final negotiations on two apartment projects — with 75 and 95 units — in Seattle.
The floorplans are open, with more window exposure (which you modern enthusiasts might like), but they also reduced the living area to eliminate ineffective space (which seems to have eradicated closets and space for in-unit washer/dryer). According to the SLI website, this design meets the needs of the target audience, Generation-Y, who is driving a major shift towards renting. I still think they’d want to do laundry and put stuff in closets though :).
Model units are available for viewing in the SoDo district of Seattle.
CollinsWoerman partnered with several local Seattle firms to develop the SLI concept: DCI Engineers for structural engineering, Lydig Construction for general contracting, and McKinstry for mechanical, electrical and plumbing.